Although it's not easy, getting funding for your tech startup is one thing — but knowing how and where to allocate that budget is a completely different dilemma that many startups face. With VC firms on the rise, it's definitely become a lot easier to find the right one to fund your business. And once you've got the funds you needed from the firm you wanted, now the question becomes — how do you use it effectively?
Getting funded is an important milestone for your startup, but what happens after is where it really counts. This is the time for strategic thinking, so the dollars you have can make the greatest impact (and so the dollars you've yet to secure will be more likely to roll in). As a quick refresher, take a look below at the different types of funding your startup can secure.
Now, the big question (at least, ahem, to us): Can you use startup funding to drive marketing? Absolutely! Investors today look for business leaders who not only have great ideas but also have solid strategies in place to achieve those aggressive goals. So to start, what goals should you be setting?
Startup Growth Goals After a Series A Funding
Nail Your Product
As a B2B tech or fintech startup, you already have stellar products that your buyer persona needs. But are they aligned to your initial vision? More often than not, there's a prototype of the product, and then an early version is launched in the market to gauge audience interest and sustainability.
Once the interest is established and the product becomes self-sustaining, product managers can keep working towards refining it to the best of their vision. If that's where you're at, then right now is the time to invest some of that green into refining your products. Pull your ideas together and work rigorously towards researching and building them into the product it's meant to be.
Expand Your User Base
Startups already using inbound marketing know the benefits of incorporating a solid marketing strategy towards their growth goals. With whatever money you have, work toward solidifying your efforts to run more campaigns, hire more experts to get the work done, and invest more in market research while expanding to potential markets.
Secure Potential Future Funding
Getting Series A funding is like a snowball effect — more and more and better and better options become available to you for future funding. When you make your mark in the industry, investors keep coming like a flock of migratory birds.
5 Marketing Investments to Consider After a Funding Round
There are many options to invest that cash, depending upon what your ultimate business goals are. For some, it's launching a few other products, while for others, it could be doubling down on their current product marketing to further their industry leadership. Whatever your main objective might be, here are the best five places where you can consider investment for continuous business growth:
Lead + Revenue Generation = Inbound + PPC
According to HubSpot, 92.7 percent of companies using inbound marketing increase their lead generation.
Quite naturally, you'll be inclined towards investing heavily into inbound marketing and we wouldn't tell you otherwise. However, your marketing investments after funding don't have to be limited to only inbound. When combined with the right PPC strategy, the power combo can bring some upbeat results, keeping you and the investors both happy. You can gain deep insights into the right market expansion with the help of inbound and very targeted PPC campaigns. The combo can bring in heaps of new traffic and lots of leads who are already marketing qualified.
Content strategy is probably one of the ways you built awareness around your brand initially and attracted the right investors to your business. Now is the time to take it to new heights by focusing on both the existing customer and acquiring new markets.
Experiment with infographics, data-driven blogs, videos, long-form articles, thought leadership, and even podcasts and webinars. There are many ways that you can get 10X value out of the content you already have by creating new and dynamic versions that appeal to your audience.
You might also want to look at hiring experts who own different spaces within content marketing if you don't already have the right people in place. This could be content strategists, video experts, webinar/podcast experts, editors, and even in-house writers who are exceptional in their copywriting skills.
We get it — it all begins with a very basic website that's functional enough to get you off the ground. But that's not going to be nearly enough once you've secured the funding and need to show 10X ROI (you get the idea).
There are various ways in which you can understand how your website has been performing — social proof, customer surveys, product video conversions, etc. And if it looks like any or all areas could use a boost, then that's where you start.
You have also likely acquired a decent customer base by the time you received the funding. Leverage that audience to influence what others think of your products. Display stellar customer testimonials, case studies, and reports to explicitly state all of the amazing work you've done so far. Working with a chatbot and overall UX strategy will also bring in great ROI once implemented with the help of the right experts.
Search Engine Optimization
When it comes to brand mentions and organic discoverability of your products and services, nothing beats a well-thought-out and implemented SEO strategy. It will enhance the effects of all other marketing activities you're working towards many times over. Take another look at whether you need to hire an SEO expert who has done noteworthy work with B2B tech startups like yours to leverage their experience and skills. It'll also ensure that any SEO strategy done in-house (in the absence of an expert) is at least not costing you any more time and money.
You may also be faced with the million-dollar question: Should we hire an expert or outsource our SEO to an agency? And we've all been there. Our recent article has done a lot of digging into this and explains how you can make the right choice for your business.
Branding, PR, and Your Marketing Stack
These two may not go together in the typical agency setup, but they are the most overlooked when it comes to understanding the ROI of all of your marketing efforts. Think "brand mentions" and voice search that can come via a thorough SEO strategy, which also contributes to brand revenue. Now think "state-of-the-art tech stack" that can replace hundreds of hours of manual researching, sorting, pulling the right information, and putting together the right info needed to take the right action.
These smaller tasks build up over time as work that could have been done faster, better, and more efficiently if you had the right tech stack for your company. Well, now you have the funds to invest in it, so don't shy away from exploring some of the best in your industry.
Don't Do It Alone
Establishing yourself as an industry leader, investing in the right places with the right amount and at the right time, and knowing when to outsource work or hire an expert may not come easy. But they can get you the ROI you and your investors are looking for when incorporated in a solid marketing strategy. So, don't go it alone. Get the right help — we might just be the startup growth experts your business needs.